Faebelina’s #WarcraftBall and Dreams of Doing Art


This was my guest for @Faebelina’s #WarcraftBall on Twitter.  Cleiti designed her own gown with a nice, flowing skirt and even wore sandals on her big troll feet.  cleiti faebelina warcraft ball 2018 june

While I enjoyed drawing it (#2 pencil, Sharpie, and twist-up colored pencils), it makes me realize again how much I want to draw on a computer.  Seems like changing things in the picture would be a lot easier with a computer program than with an eraser (can you still see some of the pencil lines in my drawing?).  Plus there would be more colors available than my 12 colored pencils.

I can’t draw with a mouse or a trackball, so I’m thinking perhaps I need a tablet.  Or a stylus that would work on my touchpad.

Maybe some day.  Maybe this year.  Maybe even this month.  Who knows?


An Azerothian Christmas


You Earthlings think you have it so bad with your Elf on a Shelf. Hah! It’s so much worse when you’ve been to Azeroth. Then you have to deal with things like:

Hellscream on a crossbeam.hellscream on a crossbeam


Every time I open a book: warchief on a flyleaf.warchief on a flyleaf


You can’t cook without finding Baine in the grain.baine in grain


Thinking of going someplace? Watch out for that Lich on the hitch.lich on a hitch-001


And then there’s Garrosh in the wash.garrosh in the wash


Even outside, you’re not safe from prying eyes: Kargath is in the birdbath.kargath in a birdbath


And last but not least, if you’re near Dallas, beware of the troll.troll on the knoll

Icon of Torment


Until I painted this t-shirt, I didn’t notice that the colors in the Icon of Torment are the same colors you find in a bruise.  

How fitting.










And yes, I did notice the irony of the label. I love Gildan t-shirts.  I have several in different colors, but so far, I’ve had no desire to drink green Kool-Aid.


BlizzCon 2016 (southwest annex)


Excitement levels run high here today as crowds have gathered for the opening ceremony of BlizzCon 2016.  It’s sitting room only atop the desk!


Should be quite a party.  Fans of all ages, sizes, species, and materials have already found seats and are ready for the festivities to begin.  Why, there are even a pair of cosplayers in the crowd, dressed as… Easter bunnies?


What an exuberant crowd!  Can you hear them chanting?

“BlizzCon BlizzCon BlizzCon!”   


 Wait, did someone just yell, “Metzen”?

Watch the opening ceremonies online here: https://blizzcon.com/en-us/news/20352061.

Broken Shores: on Death, Undeath, and Not-Undeath


On today’s episode of As the Azeroth Turns

…we get damned few answers to questions that have already been asked.

After pulling a Jack Sparrow (berserk compass included) and jumping right into the beast with his sword in hand, Varian may – or may not – be dead.  Conveniently, no one but Gul’dan and his minions were there to witness the event, and the camera cut away at the critical moment, so we cannot be certain that Varian actually did go boom, or if Gul’dan merely turned him into a large green rock elemental.  Varian certainly has the chin for the latter.

Vol’jin’s fate is a bit more perplexing.  On the surface he appears to have died in Grommash Hold from injuries sustained while fighting the Legion.  Surrounded by Horde leaders, he has time to point to his bandaged belly and proclaim, “The spirits have said this will take my soul”, and appoint his successor, Sylvanas Windrunner (because the spirits told him she was the right choice) before dying.

However, as loyal viewers surely recall, several episodes back, Arthas Menethil, corrupted by the same Legion, tortured Sylvanas, separating her soul from her body and turning her into a banshee.  He then forced Sylvanas to fight against her own people.  Could the Legion now be doing the same to Vol’jin?  They have his soul, like they had hers.  Will he become the Banshee King?  Did the Horde burn Vol’jin’s body or was it a look-alike?  Sylvanas managed to free herself from Arthas’ control and find her way back to her body.  Could Vol’jin do the same, if his body is being kept in hiding?

Why did the spirits choose Sylvanas?  Nerzhul was misled by his wife’s spirit telling him to join the Legion.  Could Vol’jin be the same?  And what was Sylvanas thinking as she stood there, staring at the empty throne?  Was she plotting a future where she, the Banshee Queen, and Vol’jin, the Banshee King, take over Azeroth?  Was she sketching out ideas in her head of how to redecorate Grommash Hold?  Perhaps she was judging the acoustics of the Hold to see if the Highborne Lamenters might put on a concert there.

Perhaps even more important: now that the Alliance has finally rebuilt Stormwind’s park, destroyed by Deathwing a couple of seaons ago, will they put up a monument to Varian’s chin in the graveyard?

Tune in Soon™ to find more questions and fewer answers.  Same orc time, same orc channel.

How to Build an Orc


Here’s something I did for some badly-needed fun.

Grom Hellscream, as some of you know, is my Main Orc.  But Funko Pop has not yet made a figure of Grom.  So I decided to give it a try.  Sculpting may not be my forte, but it made for a good distraction.  And this is how I built myself an orc.



First I bought a Funko Pop D.I.Y. male figure and some epoxy clay (recommended by a couple of sites as good clay, doesn’t need baking.)



Then came research. Grom comes in several varieties, depending on which 2 sketchesversion of the game or which expansion pack you like. I chose the Grom from Warcraft 3 because it was a simpler version and because that Grom was the hero who saved the orcs.  I printed out some pix of other Funko Pop orcs for guidance, and got to work.


3 clayRight off I decided it would be easier to paint as I went along, since getting a paintbrush behind and under such tiny details wouldn’t be easy. So to begin, I worked on building up that weak human chin into something more beefy and orcish. The clay dried nicely, and I added more to the chin and put on the lower lip with no problem.  The clay stuck great.  Then I did ears.  I put all the details in his face except for the eyebrows which would sit over the top of the eyes.

6 sketch face


The eyes would be a fierce Mannoroth-blood red, outlined in black for emphasis.  Then it 9 eyebrowswas time for the eyebrows. I never realized before that Grom has no eyebrows to speak of.  Most of the other orcs have black eyebrows.  My Grom got green eyebrows, just to give his face a little more expression. Without them, he would have looked blank. Meanwhile, I stuck the little leftover bits of clay atop his head for a ponytail base.


10 paint face

Two colors of green mixed together made a nice fel-orcish color and I started painting the head. I left 4 small unpainted bits over the lip so the tusks would adhere nicely, and the scalp stayed blank, also, waiting for hair. I painted the arms and chest, leaving room for Grom’s signature wrong-sided pauldron and gloves.


The tusks were tricky to shape but orcs’ teeth aren’t smooth, anyway.  Next came the hair: little coils of clay smoothed flat and then marked with an X-Acto knife. After drying, the hair would get a coat of black paint.

13 hair 313 hair 213 hair 1





Pants and boots came next, in two different shades of brown. I added a bit of bronze to the boots to boost the contrast.  A bit of clay made cuffs for the gloves.  More clay for the single pauldron, the strap holding it to the belt, and the wide belt itself. And paint.  He had to hang upside down to let his boots dry. 14 boots

The ponytail was a bit tricky. Grom has long hair tied up on top of his head, so I wrapped his head and upper body in wax paper so the long coils of clay wouldn’t stick. I wanted the tail to hang long and loose.  A wrap would hold the tail in place.17 pony on wax16 wax paper

Once that dried, I painted the hair and the hair wrap. The tusks got a coat of ivory. No Colgate whitening toothpaste on Draenor!  And I added his chin tattoo, of course.

20 gorehowl handle


A few touch-ups finished the paint. Then I had to decide what to do about his axe. I have a 3.5″ long Gorehowl, as long as he is tall (nothing’s too big from Grom to handle!) but there didn’t seem to be a good way to get him to hold it. Back to the clay, then. A heated sewing pin went into his hand without too much trouble, so I put one pin in either side of his hand, clipped off the round heads with a wire cutter, and then built up the axe with clay.  A pencil sharpener held it while it dried.



The head of the axe refused to stay by itself as the clay was too flimsy. Instead I made it flat and let it dry on wax paper, then used a bit more clay to stick it to the handle. Gorehowl could have used a bit more sanding, but I didn’t want to use too much force on it.  No sense losing all that work.  Bronze paint covered Gorehowl.  I even used a tiny paintbrush to coat the inside of the legendary holes in the axe.24 gore closeup


After a few minor touch-ups, Grom was finished.27 finished

The hardest paint by far was painting the little devil.  Even with a tiny brush, it was difficult not to smear paint on other parts of his outfit.

The second hardest was Gorehowl.  But now I’ve decided I like the unsanded axe.  It has a nice rough look that befits an orc.

Sculpting him wasn’t as hard as I’d thought.  Kind of makes me want to try another one.  Maybe a female this time.





A Birthday and a Movie


Today is my birthday.


Last Friday I got an early birthday present: a ticket to see the Warcraft movie. And I have a blog. So now I get to write a review, which may be a first for me. But never fear. This will be short and sweet because there’s a chocolate chip cookie with chocolate buttercream icing waiting for me.

Two hours was too short. As many others have pointed out, the movie feels rushed. Watching “Warcraft” felt like running the Sunken Temple dungeon for the first time with someone who’d done it dozens of times. They run in, tell you to do this, go here, kill that, and they’re finished while you’re still running around in circles, trying to figure out how to get down to the next level of the temple. It’s more than a bit bewildering.

As a writer, I would have preferred a bit more background info. How did Gul’dan end up in charge of the Horde if he was so evil? How did Medivh get to the orcs’ planet? Why was Llane Wrynn in Goldshire? Non-WoW players probably wouldn’t catch that, but veterans like me know Goldshire’s reputation as a red-light district occasionally haunted by a bizarre group of children. Why in the name of the Twisting Nether would the king of Stormwind be discussing military plans in Goldshire?

Some scenes felt unnecessary and might have been replaced instead with things that helped explain the plot better. Like the “he wants to lay with you” scene between Khadgar, Lothar, and Garona. Or the frustratingly brief bit in Ironforge where Lothar receives a message about the burnt village. While it’s nice for nostalgia’s sake to see Ironforge, those few moments might have been better spent someplace else. People who have never played World of Warcraft need a clear explanations of who these characters are and what they’re doing, but veteran players like myself also need clear explanations to minimize our confusion. We veterans just got back from saving an alternate universe as it is, so the lore has been turned on its head already. It’s easy to forget where we are.

I like to think they could have stuck more closely to the original story if they’d tried a bit harder. I did like the changes with Garona’s heritage, though. Originally she was a product of rape, and rape is so overdone that the story works better without it. And if Medivh turns out to be her father rather than her lover, that’s fine, too. Their son in game never played much part in the lore, anyway.

Should you go see it? Maybe. it’s a good story, even if it is the Cliff’s Notes version. I would like to see it again. Just be aware if you go to see it: it’s not your mama’s Warcraft. If you don’t know the story, then sit back and pay attention so you can keep up with a tale told too fast. If you do know the story, forget everything you ever learned and let Blizzard tell you a new version of an old story.  If you can do that, you’ll probably enjoy it.

I give it a 50 DKP minus for shoving us through the dungeon too fast for us to loot everything.

And now, on to my cookie.  Happy birthday to me.